Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Week

It’s Christmas week and you know what that means.  I’m going to be completely slacking off.  At home, at work and on this blog.  I can’t guarantee that you’ll see another post from me this week but I’ll do my best.  I can tell you that there will be no more Friday Roundups until the new year, but you already know that if you read last Friday’s post.  However, I hope to have something fun for you next week in the spirit of wrapping up the year.

Enough administration-speak.

I sure do hope that you finished all of your shopping.  I have not.  When I was out in California for work on Thanksgiving week, my wife did all of the shopping that we needed to do and because we had agreed before my trip that we would not be exchanging gifts, I thought I was all good.  Somehow, during all the confusion, Dee completely forgot that we weren’t exchanging gifts and she got me a gift.  Now I have to get her a gift.  I will most likely do this today.  I hope you left some stuff for me (or Dee, youknowwhatimean).

I do have some ideas for what I want to get her, but I’m not sure if they are good ideas.  Let me know in the comments if I’m on the right track.

  • I was going to put coal in her stocking but I’m looking for a more environmentally friendly option.  Any suggestions?
  • A new vacuum cleaner.
  • New snow tires.
  • A $25 Visa gift card.
  • A nose hair trimmer.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Friday Roundup

Do you like Fridays?  I sure do.  Know what else?  This is the last Friday Roundup of 2010.  Eat it up and lick the plate clean.

This Week in Mindsilt
I offered you some of my random thoughts

I told you how I felt about the daily grind

I was so pissed off about the daily grind that I didn’t post anything on Thursday.  Whoops.

Tweet of the Week
From Alec Sulkin
“White people have figured out the right way to hate each other without damaging the brand.”
See it here

Video of the Week
This dude does some crazy ass bike tricks and he does it so effortlessly.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Daily Grind

You know what I don't like?  The daily grind.  I don't like that I have to do it and I don't like that someone named it "the daily grind."  Eff that guy.  The last thing I need is some well-known name that makes the thing that I already hate to do sound just as bad -- if not worse -- than it already is.  Grind?  It's like I'm in the stone ages using an enormous stone wheel to grind down corn so that I can make cornbread.  Eff that.  That sounds horrible.  Why the hell would I choose to do that every day.  I wouldn't.  I'd much rather go into a climate controlled office and sit at a desk in an interior office with no windows or ventilation and stare at a computer all day with my only respite from that dungeon being a few overly long, overly boring meetings.  That sucks, but at least I'm not grinding shit, right?  So eff "the daily grind" and the daily grind.  Plus, the people that actually say "the daily grind" are assholes.  They say it like it's the funniest thing they've ever heard.  "The Daily Grind, right?  Ha, ha, ha!"  It's like we're all in on some kind of inside joke where we all actually love our day jobs but pretend to hate them because that's what you're supposed to do.  Eff you.  I actually hate my day job so stop giving it names and making it sound like it's hilarious.  It's not.  It's a drag.  Should we call it "the daily drag"?  Is that any better?  Because we drag our asses around all day.  Why don't we just call it what it is?  Giving up.

Happy Holidays!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Random Thoughts

I have a recommendation for you: Go see Black Swan.  It’s fantastic and Natalie Portman is brilliant.

The Midwest laughs a blizzards.  With the exception of inflatable roofed buildings.  Otherwise, we’re all, “MWHAHAHAHA!  We have BOOTS!”

It’s weird as hell to be nervous before a performance.  I haven’t been noticeably nervous before a show in a very, very long time.  However, I’ve never done stand up before.  I was nervous as hell before my set but once I stepped on stage I felt good.

It’s awesome when your wife does all of the Christmas shopping.  I just wish she could shop for her own gift as well.  That’s how much I hate shopping.

I’ve gone from a guy who refuses to take any kind of supplement to someone who has a veritable pharmacy in my desk drawer.  It makes a difference.  I feel better.

Egg nog is delightful.

Even though I’m cackling wildly at the blizzard, I do wish that I could grow a proper beard to help fend off the cold.


Friday, December 10, 2010

The Friday Roundup

String up the lights, the Friday Roundup is back!  I know you’ve missed it.  It’s missed you, too.  Time for some random funnery.

This Week in Mindsilt

I wondered again if it is just me or… 

You got to read about some of the Christmas things I love

Blog Post of the Week
This wasn’t posted this week, but it is too funny to pass up.  If you have or have had dogs you will love this story about moving into a new home with dogs.

Tweet of Week
“Every time I use my credit card & buy something expensive, then a black hair product the same day, I get a call from fraud protection. #Ha”
See it here

Video of the Week
These mathematical doodles have been blowing up the Internet this week.


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Christmas Things I Love

I’m sure you’re quite confused right now.  You’re thinking that I seem more like the type of guy who would hate Christmas.  Well, I don’t.  I like Christmas.  I don’t love Christmas.  It’s not my favorite time of the year — that would be the beginning of football season — but I like it just fine.  In the spirit of the season, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite Christmas things.

Feliz Navidad by José Feliciano
I love this song.  It’s fun and bouncy and Dee and I have fun singing along.  I’ll sing “Feliz Navidad” and she’ll respond with “Do-do-do-DO-Doooo.”  It’s awesome and hilarious.  Next time you see us we’ll do it for you.

Egg Nog
Put. It. In. Me.  I love me some egg nog and Christmas time is the only time you can get it.  I can’t get enough and I don’t even need to mix it with alcohol.  I’ll drink that shit straight for lunch.  Sometimes my lunch consists solely of egg nog in December.

The Holiday Train
The Holiday Train
If you’ve lived in Chicago you know what I’m talking about.  For the Holiday season the CTA dresses up a train with lights and other holiday decorations and they play Christmas music in the cars.  There’s even a flatbed car with a huge sleigh that Santa rides in.  Oh, and they pass out candy canes.  It’s pretty sweet.

A Christmas Together by John Denver and The Muppets
I love this whole album.  Every Christmas I break it out and listen to it.  My grandmother used to play this every Christmas when all the grandkids went to her house to unwrap gifts.  That’s why I love it.  Also, it’s awesome.  “Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat…”

Watching Ruthie unwrap her gifts
We usually get Ruthie something for Christmas and we wrap it up with some extra wrapping paper.  We toss it on the floor in front of her and watch her go to town.  It’s ridiculous how excited she gets and it’s just about the only time we encourage her to tear something to pieces.

Father Christmas by The Kinks
I know, there are three different music entries on this list.  I probably could have just written that I like Christmas music, but I don’t necessarily like all Christmas music.  These three entries are by far my favorite.  This one even lets me be a bit of a scrooge while still getting into the Christmas spirit.  You gotta love a Christmas song in which they threaten to beat up Santa.

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Is It Just Me or...

…are we all waiting for the Tea Party members to stop shouting and running for office so they can go back to writing angry notes that they post in our common areas?

…is it weird that people are grossed out by live birds but think it’s sad when they see a dead one?

…are you still waiting for someone to explain why the turnip truck is the hardest truck to fall from?

…does it feel awesome when you’re riding the elevator to the gym when everyone else is riding the elevator to go smoke?

…does everyone else feel a little racist when they wear a Band-Aid?


Monday, December 06, 2010

I'm Back... With Excuses

I bet you’ve either been wondering what the hell has been going on for the past three weeks or you haven’t even noticed that my last post was on November 15th.  Yeah, November 15th.  That’s a long time ago.  There’s been a Thanksgiving since then.  If you’ve guessed that I was busy prepping a delicious Thanksgiving feast for my family, you couldn’t be more wrong.  In fact, I was nowhere near my family on Thanksgiving.  I was in California.


Yes, California.  Why would anyone spend their Thanksgiving in California?  Well, sometimes you don’t have a choice.  Sometimes work requires that you go out to California over the Thanksgiving holiday so that’s what I did.  Don’t worry, I still managed to find turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy.  They have those things in California.  Who knew?  I thought they only had avocados, raisins and dirty, dirty hippies in California.  They also speak English. 

Anyway, I was pretty much working non-stop when I was there so I didn’t make time to post here.  Instead, I opted for meals and sleep.  Excuses, I know.  You expect your bad reality program reviews and random bits of crazy.  I have no right to deny you those things.  In fact, I’m going to try to make it up to you with the video below.  It’s not safe for work because it repeats the phrase, “Fuck you if you don’t like Christmas.”

Merry Christmas.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dancing With the Stars Week 9 - A Review

They don’t even bother to tell us that Kurt Warner went home last week.  I can only assume they are as pissed about Bristol Palin still being on the show as I am.  Please tell me there is an enormous online community that is banding together to keep her on this show as a joke.

What?  There’s no theme this week?  How am I going to know what these jokers are supposed to be dressed as?  How will Bristol ever get in character? 

Dance One, Paso Doble:
Brandy breaks down her competitors and all she can say about Bristol Palin is, “She’s so nice.”  She subscribes to the “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” camp.  I don’t.  Bristol Palin is awful.  She’s a terrible, terrible dancer and she’s boring as hell.  When she’s on screen I want to stab my parents for giving me life and allowing me to be subjected to something like this.

Dance Two, Argentine Tango:
Oh goody.  We get to learn about the past of the stars in the second package. 

Brandy in a nutshell: Lots of bad music, fatal car accident (not her), Dancing With the Stars, back to oblivion.

My score: Life is hard.

Jennifer Grey
Dance One, Cha-Cha:
Jennifer Grey is an attractive older lady but when she gets all flirty and sexy it is creepy as hell.  It’s something beyond cougar.  It feels like she’s breaking the law.  Especially when she’s dancing.  I need to be sandblasted after watching that. 

Dance Two, Waltz:
Jennifer in a nutshell: Father on Broadway, wanted to be an actress, Dirty Dancing, fatal car accident (not her), creepy Hollywood friends, disappearing nose, Dancing With the Stars, back to oblivion.

My score: Baby just put me in a corner.

Bristol Palin
Dance One, Paso Doble:
Bristol’s partner suggests that she is still in the competition because America looks at her and thinks, “That’s what I would be like.”  No, rest of America, you would be way more interesting.  Then Bristol chimes in with, “No offense to anyone else, but I’m not fake.”  First, when you start a sentence with the words, “No offense to anyone else” you are about to offend someone else.  Second, if you were more fake you might be interesting.

Dance Two, Waltz:
Bristol in a nutshell: Alaska, famous mom, self-proclaimed golden child, pregnant teen in the spotlight, attempted to play it for fame, Dancing With the Stars, object of my wrath, back to oblivion.

My score: Real is boring.

Kyle Massey
Dance One, Samba:
Did you know that Kyle still wears Husky size clothes?  The judges sure do.  They couldn’t stop talking about how he bounced around the dance floor.

They’re clearly shocked a fat man can dance.  They’ve never been to a wedding in Chicago.

Dance Two, Argentine Tango:
Kyle in a nutshell: Has a brother, child TV star, knows Louis Gosset, Jr., Dancing With the Stars, back to oblivion.

My score: Can we get him to star in Iron Eagle 5?


Monday, November 15, 2010

Is It Just Me or...

…does everyone else like the idea that a tackle remains intact until the moment it is broken?

…are we all getting a little tired of our cereal being delivered in “O” form?

…are we only a few years from sprinters having their pinkie fingers amputated to lighten their load?

…is no one fooled by the people pretending to have fun in those Olive Garden commercials?

…shouldn’t we sometimes also say, “grow some titties” when we’re trying to get people to be more brave?  You know, for political correctness sake?


Friday, November 12, 2010

The Friday Roundup

Do you ever get dizzy for no reason?  I sure do hope not, that shit’s fucked up.  Also, here’s the Friday Roundup.

This Week in Mindsilt
I explained to you why I’m not funny.

My weekly review of Dancing With the Stars.

I wrote about that Honda commercial that just doesn’t quite feel right.

Tweet of the Week
From Sarah Silverman:
“Fashion advice for men: a t-shirt w Larry Bird on it is very flattering to the face.”
See it here.

From the Mindsilt Archive
The very first “What To Do While…” post inspired by the night my wife spent at a Bret Michaels concert.

Thoughts about our underrated language.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

That Honda Commercial

You know that Honda commercial where the kid with the backpack is asked by three other kids if he wants to race home?  I’m sure you do.  It’s all over TV.  Have you ever noticed anything strange about that commercial?  Watch closely.  That kid is not running a fun race with his friends.  Check out the look on his face.  He’s terrified.  Notice that you never see the face or mouth of the kid that “asks” him if he wants to race.  Notice that the kid lets out a huge sigh of relief once he gets safely into the car.

We’re not watching the commercial as originally conceived and shot.

It’s clear to me that those three bigger kids are threatening the kid in the backpack and he’s running for his life.  I have no idea if the commercial ever ran as it was originally shot, but it’s certainly not running that way now.  I understand why Honda changed it.  Bullying is nasty stuff with real consequences.  For every kid that escapes into his mom’s minivan, there are five kids that get caught and beat up.  Do they think we’re stupid?  Do they think we won’t notice the terror on the kid’s face or the macho posturing of the bigger kid that clearly isn’t asking him to race?  Well, we notice.  I did.

We’re not as dumb as we look when we stare slack-jawed into the TV, Honda.  


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Dancing With the Stars Week 8 - A Review

Last week was Rick Fox’s turn to go home.  I’m sure his stalker girlfriend is happy to have him back all to herself. 

This week they are doing something called the Instant Dance Round.  The dancers will rehearse for a dance without knowing what song they will be dancing to.  They’ll be choosing their song an hour before they have to perform.  Is there any doubt they’re doing this so that Bristol Palin finally goes home?

Kyle Massey
Dance One, Viennese Waltz:
Kyle’s partner spends the entire time screaming at him about how terrible he is.  If she was Bristol Palin’s partner someone would have to hide her knives.  Of course, Kyle thinks it’s hilarious when she yells at him because he only has one emotion: on camera.

Instant Dance, Jive:
After Kyle got his scores for the first dance he pulled the “Good Golly, Miss Molly” CD out of the music basket.  Then he ran off like a schoolgirl to go practice. 

They decided to bring Steve-O back to try to distract Kyle while he rehearsed.  In case you didn’t know, Steve-O is Kyle’s older brother.  You could really feel the love.

My score: Who’s the jackass now?

Jennifer Grey
Dance One, Quickstep:
Would you have guessed that there is drama with Jennifer this week?  Her knee hurts and a doctor comes in, presses on her knee a little bit and decides that she’s got a torn tendon.  Then her dad comes in and tells her that he’s proud of her and all that shit that dads say to their children but don’t really mean.  She decides to dance, anyway.  Probably because she was faking in the first place. 

Instant Dance, Rhumba:
Jennifer chooses “I’ve Been Waiting For a Girl Like You” by Foreigner.  She doesn’t know the song and she seems pissed about it.

During her rehearsal she doesn’t complain about her knee once.  She does make a creepy eighth grade dance reference while her partner is gyrating his hips.  Can we change her song to “Mrs. Robinson”?

My score: Your desperation is showing.

Kurt Warner
Dance One, Waltz:
I’m not entirely convinced that Kurt’s partner understands anything he says.  Nor am I sure that he understands anything that she says.  This only makes his transformation from Frankenstein to Not-As-Much-Frankenstein all the more impressive.

Instant Dance, Cha-Cha:
Kurt will be dancing to “Hella Good” by No Doubt.  That is not an extended typo.  I don’t even need a joke here.

Kurt’s kids came in to “help” him rehearse.  They were wearing name tags.  There’s a good chance it was for his benefit, not his partner’s.  He is an athlete after all.  Also, he stole the green shirt from that Tide commercial.

My score: Technically, it’s Frankenstein’s Monster, not Frankenstein, Jeff

Bristol Palin
Dance One, Argentine Tango:
There is no way she should still be on this show.  I’m going to use this space to convince America to finally vote her off.

Imagine if you’re mother went around the country talking to people about how you were the biggest mistake she ever made.  Imagine if she tried to convince people to not do the exact thing that brought you into this world.  What if she based her entire identity around the fact that she made a mistake by having you?  Is this something a good mother does?  This is what Bristol Palin does.

Also, she’s a terrible dancer.

Dance Two, Instant Dance:
Bristol reaches into the CD basket and pulls out “Mas Que Nada” which means “lots of suck” in Spanish.

Have you ever watched a small gay man try to teach an elephant how to dance? 

My score: It just got real, didn’t it?

Dance One, Waltz:
Brandy and her partner have finally reached a point where she accepts his condescension like a battered wife of mutual respect .  She does realize that this will do absolutely nothing for her career, right?  There’s no need for her to take this abuse before she fades back into obscurity.

Instant Dance, Cha-Cha:
Brandy picks “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry.  Really?  When are the producers going to make her dance to one of her own songs?  She does sing, right?

During rehearsal Brandy and her partner decided to have a butt-off.  Unfortunately, this only involved them hoisting their butts up with their hands.  All of my butt-offs involve a whole lot of booty bouncing.

My score: For realz.  With a z.


Monday, November 08, 2010

Why I'm Not Funny

Almost everyone I know thinks I’m hilarious. Especially me. This may shock you, but I’m not hilarious all the time. In fact, there are times when I am actively not funny. I know it’s hard to believe but there are some chinks in my armor of comedy. In case you encounter me and I’m not absolutely hilarious, here are a few reasons why I may have failed.

1) I can't quote from hilarious movies. This seems to be a major “funny dude” requirement.
2) The only thing I know about pop culture involves Dancing With the Stars — or Justin Bieber, but I only know his name, not anything about him.
3) I'm delighted by death and tragedy. Most people are appalled by these things.
4) I think dick jokes are stupid.  Unless they're about something tragic happening to your dick.
5) I’m often to busy judging everyone else’s jokes to make any of my own.
6) I want you to think I'm smarter than you. This means I’ll sacrifice funny jokes at the expense of being right. Also, this is often just plain annoying. Annoying is not funny.
7) The only impression I can do is of Anderson Cooper and that’s only because we both have gray hair.
8) Most people think God is immature enough to keep a list of who makes jokes about him. I think he has a healthy sense of humor about himself. I mean, why else would he let all of his most ardent followers act like such idiots?
9) I don’t leave the house that often. You have to hang out with other people to be funny.
10) I often have one less idea than I really need to round out a joke.


Friday, November 05, 2010

The Friday Roundup

Its the end of the week and I have a feeling that this might just be the last Friday ever so you should probably enjoy it with a little Friday Roundup.

This Week in Mindsilt
My weekly review of Dancing With the Stars.

I had some random thoughts I thought you should know about.

Tweet of the Week
From Alec Sulkin:
“Accuse someone of denying everything.  It’s a hard one to fight.”
See it here.

From the Mindsilt Archive
Here’s the thing, I thought I’d share an old Here’s the Thing.

Video of the Week
Comedian Reggie Watts uses his iPhone to create a song on the spot.


Thursday, November 04, 2010

Some Random Thoughts

If we successfully end bullying, what will we do with the surplus of lunch money?

I’m approaching the age where people assume you are racist if you don’t like hip hop.

Don’t sign your emails with “Warm Regards.”  It’s just creepy.  I always want to respond with “Moist Sincerity.”

I’m much closer to mid-life crisis than I am to any other major life milestone.

That guy in the Lowe’s commercial that bought the wrong paint to cover the stripes on his wall is awfully cocky for someone who bought the wrong paint to cover the stripes on his wall.

I went a whole day without knowing that the World Series was over and I follow several sportswriters on Twitter.  Weird.

You’d think dogs would figure out a more efficient way to drink water.

The lame jokes that lead into the opening credits sequence on Law & Order: SVU are a special bit of genius.

I can’t wait for my eyebrows to go gray and bushy so that I have a good excuse for talking to myself on the train.  The truth: It won’t be long.

Does anyone else feel like Xbox Kinect is a trap?

I just realized that this whole post could have kept my Twitter account rolling for a week.


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Dancing With the Stars Week 7 - A Review

Last week the show said goodbye to Audrina Patridge.  Now she’s free to do Old Navy commercials.

It’s the 200th episode of Dancing With the Stars.  No, they haven’t been all this season it just feels that way. 

Okay, what the hell is going on?  They just introduced Kristi Yamaguchi as a “team captain” of Bristol Palin, Rick Fox and Kyle Massey and Apolo Ohno as “team captain” of Kurt Warner, Brandy and Jennifer Grey.  I guess they are doing some kind of team dance and then a regular dance.  I’m confused for two reasons.  First, the Colts are playing on Monday Night Football and I’m missing it for this.  Second, the opening of the show was such a mess that absolutely nothing was explained before they launched into announcing the teams.  I’m not sure why I continue to expect this show to be at least as good as terrible MTV-level reality shows.

Team Dance
Team Kristi: Rick Fox, Bristol Palin, Kyle Massey

The function of the team captain is to come into the rehearsal and say things like, “Rick Fox is tall.”  Thanks, Kristi.  Also, why are Kristi and Apolo team captains?  Are they just choosing random gold medal winners from past Olympics?  If so, why couldn’t they get Carl Lewis?  Also, why hasn’t Carl Lewis done this show yet?  Is he still alive?  He is, but you had to think about it for a second, didn’t you?

Do their scores even matter to you?

Team Apolo: Kurt Warner, Brandy, Jennifer Grey
Apolo took a different approach to coaching his team.  Instead of stating the obvious he just shouted random coaching clichés about giving more than is mathematically possible.  He may have even asked them to reach deep.  He even passed out envelopes for them to push.

Was their dance any good?  I don’t know, I was watching the Colts.

Individual Dances
For each individual dance they are bringing in a “celebrity” judge who was a “star” from a past season to judge a dance that they performed when they were on the show.  Got it?  No, because it’s stupid.

Kyle Massey
Kyle as been assigned to perform a Paso Doblé that Mel B danced in a previous season.  I was hoping they would make him dance Mel B’s part but they decided to let him dance as a man.  Well, man-boy.  I guess we know how many episodes it takes before they run out of choreography.  200.

All of the guest judges are going to give out 10’s right?  Did anyone not see this coming?

My score: The only thing worse than Dancing With the Stars is reruns of Dancing With the Stars.

Kurt Warner
Kurt is assigned to dance a Tango previously danced by Emmitt Smith.  During rehearsal, Kurt is frustrated by his partner telling him how easy it is so he takes her to practice with the Arizona Cardinals where she fails as miserably at football as he does at dancing.  Then we’re treated to Larry Fitzgerald calling the old judge “stupid.”

After the dance Kurt admits, “I’m the slow old white guy.”  Brooke takes this opportunity to make that comment way more awkward than it ever needed to be.

My score: The race card is always an ace.

Bristol Palin
Bristol has to recreate a Viennese Waltz once danced by Kelly Osbourne.  They’ve stopped trying to make her interesting during rehearsals.  This is why allowing America to choose who advances makes the producers kick their dogs when they get home.  Speaking of dogs, my little wiener dog has more personality and can dance better than Bristol Palin.

I’m no expert but her dance was completely half assed and the judges still gave her three eights.  Have they given up, too?  I hate America.

My score: Can we Old Yeller this girl?

Rick Fox
Rick is dancing a quickstep originally performed by Helio Castroneves.  Who is Helio Castroneves?  Nobody knows.

Rick’s partner decides to bring his girlfriend, Eliza Dushku, in to loosen him up a little.  I’m told she’s clingy and jealous of this whole situation.  Sounds like a great way to get him to relax.

By the way, I’m pretty sure we just saw a commercial for vagina wipes.

My score: Vagina wipes!

Brandy gets to rerun a foxtrot performed by Gilles Marini.  Who is Gilles Marini?  Helio Castroneves.  They are the same person.

Brandy has determined that she wants it more than anyone else on the show.  When asked why she said, “Because.”  Touché.

My score: Is that the sound of producers kicking dogs?

Jennifer Grey
Jennifer will be dancing a Tango done by Drew Lachey on the second season.  I don’t understand why they are assigning men’s dances to women.  I get that we’re all about challenging gender roles now that it’s 2010, but this just doesn’t make any sense.  It’s not the same dance at all.

Guys, I don’t know if you’ve been informed, but Jennifer Grey is old and tired and sore and oh my gawd everything is so hard.  There is nothing harder than a celebrity dance show.  Don’t you feel sorry for her?  It’s so hard being famous.

My score: Thank god I’m not rich and famous, right?


Friday, October 29, 2010

The Friday Roundup

Forget about getting work done for the next twenty minutes, you’ve got a Friday Roundup to deal with.  Get on it.

This Week in Mindsilt
I gave you a tour of Hartford City through the signs.

Another review of Dancing With the Stars.

I wrote about why I hate Halloween.

Tweet of the Week
From Chelsea Peretti:
“If I can hear your smile, you’re not drinking enough water.”
See it here.

From the Mindsilt Archive
Sometimes those little cookies know way more than you think.

Video of the Week
People are Awesome — a collection of people doing crazy stunts.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Boo Humbug

Halloween is my least favorite holiday.  It's not even close.  Arbor Day?  Awesome, plant a tree.  That's good for all of us.  Halloween?  Bah.  Hate it.  I'm sure you're expecting me to go on a rant about it's just an excuse for women to dress slutty as a "sexy" whatever.  Three or four years ago I would have gladly ranted for several paragraphs but it seems pointless now.  Thanks to the new tights craze, women are dressing slutty every day.  Wearing black tights is now an excuse to wear the shortest skirt possible or wear nothing at all but the tights. 

I hate Halloween for more selfish reasons.

1) Thinking of a costume
What a pain in the ass — especially since I've been a performer.  Everyone expects me to come up with a clever costume because I'm the "clever guy."  That's a lot of pressure that I don't need.  I don't want to have to wrack my brain for weeks to come up with a costume that I'm going to wear for a few hours.

2) Buying/Putting together the costume
Why would I waste my time rummaging through my closet and going out of my way to costume shops to try to find exactly what I'm looking for?  I've got better things to do.  Besides, my costume idea is so clever that it's nearly impossible to find the things I need for it at any store so I have to make the damn thing myself.  I definitely don't have the time or energy for that.

3) Because it's a costume it's never comfortable
Rarely are you able to come up with a costume that just involves you wearing regular clothes.  There's always something extra added to the outfit (unless you're going as a radio DJ which is not as clever as you think) that makes it uncomfortable.  There's nothing more disgusting than the combination of sweat and moist breath that collects inside a mask.  If it's not uncomfortable, then there's always some piece of the costume that you are constantly worrying about.  Your wig will always be crooked, so don't even bother.

4) Everyone else
There's nothing like going out to a crowded bar and getting repeatedly stabbed and rammed into by everyone else's costumes.  God forbid you are a man who decided to dress up as Christine O'Donnell.  People will grab your tits all night — both men and women.  It's degrading.  You're a Senate candidate for Christ's sake.

As you might expect, I won't be dressing up or doing anything for Halloween this year.  Besides, there's football to watch.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dancing With the Stars Week 6 - A Review

America was finally too creeped out to keep Florence Henderson around any longer.  I guess we just can’t handle our elderly trying to be sexy.

It’s Rock Week on Dancing With the Stars which means that host Tom Bergeron is going without a tie.  Rock.  And.  Roll.

This week they’ve decided to show us the top ten routines chosen by the Dancing With the Stars viewers.  How were these votes collected?  By mail?  The viewership of this show is too old to use computers.

Audrina Patridge
Audrina’s partner decided to have her do some mixed martial arts training so that she could dance a better Paso Doble.  I’ve seen my three year old niece hit harder than Audrina. 

It bothers me that I can now spell her name without looking it up.

Even when they sex her up I still can’t bring myself to write about her bare midriff.  Maybe it’s because she’s the most boring human alive.  You’ve got to have at least some personality to bring out the creep in this creepy old man.

My score: She’s an alien, right?

Kyle Massey
Because Kyle is busy doing, well, no one really knows, his partner has told him to dance with his brother for extra practice.  Two dudes dancing together always gets a huge laugh from the simpleminded.  Which is why we see it so often on this show.

I can’t tell the difference between the dances the judges love and the ones they hate.  Maybe it’s because I hate all of them.

My score: I think I just insulted myself.

Jennifer Grey
After last week’s shouting match Jennifer and her partner were practically singing Kumbaya in the rehearsal room.  She even made a hilarious joke about her metal neck!  Everything is wonderful!  It’s like her nose job never happened!

Except she choked on the dance floor.  Won’t she ever let herself be happy?

My score: Pretending to be happy doesn’t make it so.

Rick Fox
Being an enormous, awkward oaf has gotten him this far so I can only assume that he’ll nail it this week.  I just can’t understand why the producers let his partner get away with simply practicing this week.  Shouldn’t they be carving pumpkins to help with his dexterity or something?

My score: Can we paint him green and have him hold a can of peas?

Bristol Palin
After forgetting her steps last week while wearing a gorilla suit, she insisted upon playing the air guitar during a section of her dance.  They worked on that more than the dancing.  Why didn’t they show the discussion about dressing her like Barney the Dinosaur?

In case you are wondering, the folks at Dancing With the Stars think that pyrotechnics equals rock ‘n’ roll.  Lot of fire and explosions this week.  Too bad the band didn’t get the note.

My score: Less fire, more not giving a shit.

Kurt Warner
No one thinks rock ‘n’ roll when they think of Kurt Warner so they brought in Brett Michaels to help him discover his rock side.  Apparently, being rock involves wearing a bandana to cover your receding hairline.  Do they make a bandana that covers your awkward?

My score: Can they take back his Super Bowl MVP award?

This week Brandy will be playing the role of Jennifer Grey.  It’s her turn to storm out into the hallway and cry.  The only difference is that her partner doesn’t give a shit so he chases her down and makes her dance anyway.  Atta boy.  No one likes it when rich people whine about dancing.

It looks like our new leader actually cares about winning this show.  Sweetie, it won’t revive your career.  Trust me.

My score: Wanting it too much does not suit you.

The Dance Marathon
They couldn’t fill enough time by showing the top ten viewer selected dances so they ended the show by doing a dance marathon.  All of the couples dance and the judges eliminate them one by one.  The winners get ten extra points, the runner up gets nine and so on.  I’m not sure why they insist on handing out these points.  They’re like the score in Super Mario Brothers, it doesn’t matter so long as you save the princess.

Brandy and her partner won the marathon but she missed the chance to grab the fire flower so she’ll never get to throw fireballs.


Monday, October 25, 2010

The Signs of Hartford City

Dee and I took a little trip to Hartford City, Indiana this weekend.  We were there for a funeral but we were able to visit with family and we are always entertained when we are with the family.  We were also entertained by the signs in and around Hartford City.  Since I’d rather not bore you trying to explain all the fun times with the family, I’ll share with you the signs instead.

 This isn’t technically a sign, but there is a sign just behind Dee.  However, you might recognize this Indian if you’ve ever seen Parks & Recreation on NBC.  It’s in the opening credits.  Also, the sign behind Dee is pretty nonsensical. 

 See what I mean?

I snapped a picture of this sign for obvious reasons.  It indicates the portion of State Highway 3 that is dedicated to my dad.  It extends from the north side of Hartford City to State Highway 18.  Does your dad have his own highway?

I have lots of questions about this sign.  Why is Coroner an elected office?  Why would you choose to make your sign look like a body bag?  Isn’t the tag usually on the toe of the corpse?  Why didn’t they go all the way and show a face peeking out of the zipper opening?  Why did my mom let someone put this in her yard?

Okay, this isn’t a sign.  It is something you need to see.  In case you are wondering, this is Dee as the Pope.  The Balloon Pope.  I took Dee to her favorite ice cream place in Indiana, Ivanhoe’s.  Every time we’ve been there, a balloon artist has offered to make us anything we want.  This time, Dee said, “I want a hat!”  I quickly added, “She wants a Pope hat!”  The balloon artist went the extra mile to create the staff and incense burner.  God bless him.


Friday, October 22, 2010

The Friday Roundup

The Friday Roundup is back and it’s declaring itself The Law in this here town.  Anyone got a problem with that?  I didn’t think so.  Fetch me some lemonade.

This Week in Mindsilt
I wrote about how much Dee hates bad commercials.

Yet another review of Dancing With the Stars.

Since I hadn’t done one in a while, I whipped out an “Is it Just Me or…

Tweet of the Week
From Sean Kelley:
“Guys, I’ve been counting my eggs, and I think we’re going to have ALOT of chickens.”
See it here.

From the Mindsilt Archive
I wrote a pantoum.  What’s a pantoum?  Read here.

Video of the Week
Baby Monkey


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Is It Just Me or...

…are asparagus and corn the tracking devices of the digestive system?

…does buying a nose hair trimmer feel like admitting defeat?

…do you also wonder if people are referring to facial hair or that box in the basement when they say “porn stash”?

…does it bug you when you tell women you’re married and they don’t look disappointed?

…is sexting not nearly as cool now that old people like Brett Favre are doing it?


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dancing With the Stars Week 5 - A Review

The Situation is that he is no more.  America finally put him out of his misery or maybe they put themselves out of their own misery.

It’s TV Theme week.  No one on this show understands metaphors so all of the dancers will be performing to TV show theme songs.  I can’t imagine anything worse.

They insist on doing a two hour show even though they don’t have enough dancers to fill the time.  Instead, they decide to have the judges talk about each dancer.  It still won’t make these people any more interesting but it does give me time for a nap.

Brandy danced to the theme song from Friends.  She loves it because “it’s everything that describes a friend.”  Does she also love the dictionary?  We can only hope they end up in a fountain.

Why do they insist on pushing the band’s limits?  It’s like trying to teach a third grader calculus. 

My score: I can see you acting.

Florence Henderson
Can you guess which TV theme Florence will be dancing to?  Can you?  If you can’t you are an idiot, Reader.  Yes, it’s The Brady Bunch theme.  She even managed to get Greg Brady to come to her rehearsal and she implied that they may have hooked up when they were on the show together.  Was this a rumor?  Gross.

Does anyone else think it’s weird that Florence’s partner has had more plastic surgery than any of the stars?

My score: Incest is not sexy.

Kurt Warner
Kurt was an NFL quarterback so they’ve got him dancing to the theme from Bewitched.  They couldn’t get the rights to Faith Hill’s Sunday Night Football theme?  I’m pissed that I can’t be pissed about them doing the obvious here.  Pissed.  About not being pissed.

Hot rumor: Kurt is totally dating Michael J. Fox.  Why else would they show him after Kurt’s dance?

My score: Let’s start a rumor.

Audrina Patridge
Audrina’s partner tells her to eat an onion to help reduce the awkwardness of the intimate moments.  Teenagers everywhere are going to start carrying onions around just in case.  Wait.  Teenagers don’t watch this show.  They’re too busy doing something cool like bullying each other.

Audrina danced to that song about dirty windows and blank pages.  Is that a theme song to a TV show?  If so, I hate that show.

My score: Hot girls will do anything for attention.

Kyle Massey
Kyle is assigned the theme from Charlie’s Angels.  They should have just assigned him the theme from the Ed Sullivan Show.  His partner decided to bring in two other hot dancers to help him with his technique and complete the Charlie’s Angels theme.  Everyone knows the best way to get a teenager to focus is to bring in a bunch of hot girls.

My score: It works for grown men, too.

Rick Fox
What do you think of when you see Rick Fox?  Cops.  That’s why he’s dancing to the theme from Hill Street Blues.  See how I do that?  I hate it when they’re too literal and I hate it when they’re not literal at all.  I get to have it both ways and eat it too.

Rick took his partner to meet Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson and they both did a very good job pretending that they watched the show.

My score: Phil Jackson reminds me of Andre the Giant.

Bristol Palin
It wouldn’t be a TV theme song show without the theme from The Monkees.  It wouldn’t be Dancing With the Stars if they didn’t waste the most energetic song on the least energetic contestant.  At least her partner decided to dress them up in ape costumes.  Seriously, they wore ape costumes for the first half of the dance.  For the second half of the dance, Bristol completely forgot the routine.  She should have written the steps on her hand.  Hasn’t her mom taught her anything?

What’s it called when you find pleasure in the misfortune of others?  It starts with an ‘s’ doesn’t it?  Oh yeah, schadenfreude.  This was pure, uncut schadenfreude.

My score: Your child misses you.  Go to him.

Jennifer Grey
Jennifer and her partner danced to the theme from Married With Children because she’s just as annoying as Ed Bundy’s wife only Jennifer is real.

Do you remember that girlfriend you had in high school who could conjure an argument out of thin air?  That’s Jennifer Grey.  The only difference is that she’s 50 years old and still acts like a teenager.  Now you know why she hasn’t worked since 1987. 

Has anyone squandered cancer survivor sympathy faster than Jennifer Grey?

Guess what, she nailed her dance.  America, please help us all out of this abusive cycle.  Do not vote for or encourage this woman in any way.

My score: Got your nose.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Dee Hates Bad Commercials

My wife is a good person but even good people hate things.  Dee holds a special place in her spleen (that’s the opposite of heart right?) for bad commercials.  For several years she declared that she hated all cell phone company commercials.  Joan Cusack was her nemesis.  Every time a cell phone commercial came on she would say, “Why can’t anyone make a good cell phone commercial?  I’m so mad about it!”  Then someone made the commercial where the guy said, “Smart, smart, so smart” and the spell was broken.  Cell phone commercials were suddenly good again.

Don’t worry, she’s found new commercials to hate in their place.  Which ones does she hate now?  Let me show you.

Southwest Airlines
Dee’s assessment: “When did Southwest become so obnoxious?  It’s like they saw the Capital One commercials and said, ‘Hey, let’s do that.”

She isn’t a big fan of this commercial but she especially hates the one with the Southwest employees traipsing around Chicago singing and talking to Chicagoans on the street that started airing this weekend during the Bears game.


Capital One
Dee’s assessment: “They think that they are funny and they are not.  They dress people up in weirdo costumes because they think it’s funny but it’s not.  And they are obnoxious.”

Burger King
Dee’s assessment: “Who is in charge?  Who is the person who said these commercials are appropriate for national television?”


Friday, October 15, 2010

The Friday Roundup

It’s the Friday Roundup, yes it’s the real Roundup all the other Friday Roundups are being imitated, so won’t the Friday Roundup just round things up, round things up, round things up.

This Week in Mindsilt
What?  A post on Sunday?  Yes, I made note of the fact that it was 10/10/10

I did some sidewalk art this past weekend.

My weekly review of Dancing With the Stars.  This week I tempt God’s wrath (also my wife’s).

I wrote about porn coming soon to a mirror near you.

Tweet of the Week
From Josh Malina:
“I love Swedish women and their boxy volvos.”
See it here.

From the Mindsilt Archive
I was given an assignment for an improv show to write about “The Forces of Evil and Me” and this is what I came up with.

Video of the Week
A fantastic performance to “Under Pressure” with two Kermit muppets.  You’re going to want tissue for this.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mirror, Mirror

I saw this article recently about the Cybertecture Mirror.  Basically, it’s a mirror that is connected to the Internet and can display all sorts of information right on its surface.  The data you choose to display is customizable and because it’s connected to the Internet I bet you can get just about any information you want right on your bathroom mirror.  Even if you can’t get everything I’m sure it won’t be long until someone figures out how to hack it and get anything you want to display.

Who will be the first to hack the mirror?  Probably someone in the porn industry.  They’re always quick to embrace new technology.  Remember the early days of the Internet?  It was all porn and bad personal homepages created by kids for a college class.  Soon enough, you’ll be waking up to fresh porn right in your bathroom mirror.  I’m sure it won’t be long (after the work stoppage, that is) until they develop porn especially for that mirror that makes it look like you’re the star.  You’d be boning the sink but who cares?  Morning wood problem solved.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dancing With the Stars Week 4 - A Review

Do I even need to tell you that Margaret Cho was last week’s victim?  I just did.

It’s “Acoustic Week.”  Let me get this straight.  Dancing With the Stars has decided to highlight the consistently worst performer on the show?  Yes, I’m talking about the band.  Since the band is performing unplugged, I will also be writing this on my laptop unplugged.  Let’s hope my battery lasts. 

They’ve revamped the studio and changed the stage from its standard rectangle to a circular stage with the audience seated all around.  In the industry we call it “in the round.”  That’s Latin for “cheap gimmick which attempts to disguise poor performers.”  As an added twist the judges will be giving two sets of scores that no one cares about.

Kurt Warner
Kurt is dancing the Rhumba — the dance of love — on his 13th wedding anniversary.  He’s uncomfortable because he’s a “Christian guy.”  I’m not sure what religion has to do with putting on a good performance, but I’m sure someone can find an out-of-context Bible verse that addresses this. 

His partner decides to bring in both of their spouses to watch.  Once Kurt gets the okay from his wife, he’s ready to get sexy with his partner.  No one told me that wives trump God.  Good thing I don’t believe in either.

My score: Lightning bolt.

She admits that she doesn’t feel sexy unless she is in love.  She hasn’t been in love for six years which means she must be married. 

Instead of practicing, her partner decides to take her to a restaurant for wine, chocolate and flowers.  The three keys to the Rhumba.

Brandy is like a black hole of interesting.  When she’s on screen it’s like I’m watching two boring co-workers in the break room talking about spreadsheets.

My score: =sum(A1:A22)

Rick Fox
Rick and his partner are assigned the Argentine Tango.  They are allowed to do lifts for this dance which means that Rick will be throwing his partner around like, well, a basketball.  Let’s hope she always lands within the hoop. 

He didn’t manage to throw her off the stage, but he did sport a pretty sweet mustache and a white jacket.  He’s the tallest maître d’ ever.

My score: Table for two, please.

Kyle Massey
We are subjected to Kyle and his partner actually dancing during their lead-in clip.  Imagine that.  We now know why they don’t show the couples actually dancing.  It’s boring. 

I’m confused.  Are these two dating or not?  How old is his partner?  I’m not sure it’s even legal for them to be together.

My score: Can we give his partner a creepy mustache to complete the effect?

The Situation
This guy calls himself The Situation?  This guy?  He’s just some regular dude that wants to do the best he can.  How could he possibly be entertaining on a reality TV show?  I’ve yet to see him do anything outrageous.

At least he’s got a sense of humor about how terrible he is on the dance floor.

My score: Mostly confusion.

Florence Henderson
There she is.  There’s the racy and inappropriate Florence Henderson.  There’s nothing quite like seeing Florence Henderson grab a creepy dude’s ass.  That was just during rehearsal.

The dance made me want to take a shower.  Mostly so that I could clean off the vomit. 

My score: Two poked out eyes.

Jennifer Grey
Remember how Jennifer Grey’s character in Dirty Dancing was all whiny and dramatic when she was learning how to dance with Patrick Swayze’s character? (Note: I haven’t actually seen the movie)  That wasn’t a character.  She’s whiny and overly dramatic.  She’s playing it up for the cameras.  She knows this season is boring and she’s trying to add drama.  Too bad we all see right through it.

Can we just give her the trophy now and put Brooke Burke out of her misery?  When I say “put Brook Burke out of her misery” I mean shoot her and make glue out of her bones.

My score: Model glue.

Bristol Palin
The lead-in clip begins with Bristol’s partner talking about how sexy the Rhumba is and then goes on to say, “The Rhumba and Bristol have absolutely zero in common.”  Hey, she got pregnant so she must have been sexy at least once, right?  Right?!  Don’t answer that.  I know I’m wrong.

No matter what you think about her mom, at least she’s entertaining.  You’d think Bristol would have acquired at least a little of her mom’s performance ability.  Unfortunately she’s the most boring human alive.  Even Bristol’s kid was more entertaining and he hasn’t learned to conjugate verbs yet.

My score: Who put her up to this?

Audrina Patridge
Audrina closed her package by saying, “Five years ago I was answering phones at a photography studio, now I’m at the top of the leaderboard on Dancing With the Stars.”  Sorry sister, Kurt’s got you beat on the rags to riches story.  Bagging groceries to Super Bowl champ trumps phones and Dancing With the Stars every time.

I’m not saying she’s dumb, but if you use sarcasm around her you have to follow it up with, “That was a joke.”  Otherwise, she’ll think you’re serious about shooting Brooke Burke and making glue out of her bones.

My score: Dancing is hard.


Monday, October 11, 2010

For Your Information

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are undefeated when I do Irish themed sidewalk chalk artwork.

Just thought you should know.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ten, Ten, Ten, Ten, Ten

Right now it is:

10:10am 10/10/10

You'll only see this happen once more. At 10:10pm 10/10/10 which is later tonight. But that's only if you live in the U.S. and use the 12-hour clock versus the 24-hour clock.


Friday, October 08, 2010

The Friday Roundup

This is it.  This is your Friday Roundup.  Get ready for Internetness.

Check This Out
Do you like random, interesting Internet stuff?  I know you do.  That’s why you’re here.  Check out  Every day he posts all sorts of interesting stuff from all around the Internet.  Go there now.  Well, not now.  Wait until you finish this post, then go there.

This Week in Mindsilt
I wrote about my mind’s mind.

It was “Story Night” on Dancing With the Stars and I couldn’t find a story anywhere.

I wrote about how Sun Chips has put our stupidity on display.

Tweet of the Week
From Alec Sulkin:
“Why go to church when you can just follow God on Twitter?”
See it here.

From the Mindsilt Archives
In honor of the upcoming warm weekend, a post about how hot it is.

Image of the Week
A map of online communities.  Click the picture for a larger version.  From

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Sun Chips or: Why People are Stupid

Sun Chips just announced that they’re going to discontinue their compostable bags.  You see, their compostable bags were loud.  Lots of people complained about the bags’ loudness.  In fact, people were so dissatisfied by the noise from the bags that their sales dipped 11%.  So Sun Chips decided to discontinue the new bags.


This is why I hate people.  People are stupid.  People can’t see past the end of their own nose.  People don’t think about the impact of their actions.  A corporation finally does something to try to reduce the amount of waste we create and everyone rejects it because they couldn’t hear the idiots on Grey’s Anatomy because the chip bag is too loud.  That shows you how shortsighted and unimaginative the American people are.  You can’t put your chips in a bowl so that our children can live on a planet that isn’t covered in garbage?  Plus, they’re watching Grey’s Anatomy.  That show is terrible.

In order to sustain life on this planet we have to make sacrifices for the good of our society.  If people can’t find ways to deal with a little extra noise from their chip bag, why should we think they’re going to make the kind of sacrifice that will really make an impact?


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Dancing With the Stars Week 3 - A Review

As I predicted, Michael Bolton went home last week.  My wife tells me that he made the rounds on the talk shows demanding an apology from the foreign judge.  I guess the foreign one said that Bolton did “the worst jive ever.”  Which was true.  Still, it hurt Michael’s feelings and made him cry.  I guess you don’t write all those crappy love songs without being overly sensitive.  Good riddance, crybaby.

It’s “Story Night.”  I don’t know what the hell that means.  I expect it means there will be a lot more cheese.  Oh Christ, Brooke Burke is still hosting.  Do they know it’s perfectly okay to fire someone mid-season?  In fact, it’s humane.  It’s like shooting a horse with a broken leg.  It’s best for everyone.

Jennifer Grey
Jennifer and her partner have decided to tell the story of a student who is in love with his teacher.  That classic story lifted directly from the world of porn.

The dance was as awkward as the acting portion of a porno.  Jennifer Grey’s lead has just disappeared like her original nose and yet she still scores a 24 out of 30 because the judges are desperate for someone to be good.

My score: I’ve never actually watched porn.  Promise.

Florence Henderson
Florence and Corky’s story is of two lovers who are discovering their attraction and, sweet God, no one cares.  They’re dancing to that weepy song from The Sound of Music.  Not the fun one where the kids say good night or the one with all the random syllables where they run through the hills or even the one where they list the favorite things of the most boring person in the world.  They choose the lullaby.

I liked her better when she was flipping me the bird, not trying to put me to sleep. 

My score: Brown paper packages tied up in string usually contain laundry.

Kurt Warner
Kurt has been assigned the Foxtrot and his story is of a person having a bad day.  Like me every Monday.  Apparently, a bad day in Kurt Warner’s world involves a grinning goofball carrying an umbrella.  This is what happens when you’ve suffered repeated concussions.

The judges gave Kurt a 23 and Brooke decided that it was the “highest score of the night.”  Except that it wasn’t.  Jennifer Grey scored a 24.  Can they fire her mid-show?  Please?

My score: Eleventy-five!

Margaret Cho
Her story is “party.”  You know, that old gem.  I’m not sure anyone on this show knows what a story is.
I guess the story of “party” involves wearing a dress that makes you look like a Rainbow Pop.  Also, dancing terribly.  The Internet will forever make me look like a fool for saying that she could dance in the premiere.

My score: Next time go with Dreamsicle.

Audrina Patridge
Audrina and her partner choose to act out a story of a soldier coming back from the dead to dance with his widowed wife for one last time.  That just seems cruel.  Why just this once?  What a dick.

The only way I would have liked this dance is if her partner would have come out as a zombie.  Alas, I hated this dance.  The judges loved it.  The mannequin takes the lead.

My score: When is Zombie Week?

Bristol Palin
Bristol’s partner Mark is a homeless dude and she is boring.  I don’t even know what the hell the story is supposed to be.  Then they randomly showed her giving a speech saying, “A girl who practices abstinence has no chance of getting pregnant” in perfect monotone so that you can tell she really cares. 

Brooke asked Bristol why she struggles with the performance portion of the dance even though she’s a public speaker.  The correct answer is, “Because I’m terrible at both.”  Her answer was, “Wah, wah, wah, wah, boring, boring, boring.”

My score: Is this as much as we’ve come to expect from TV?

Brandy and her partner decide to steal the story from “The Bodyguard.”  Then they argue through the entire clip even though Brandy promises not to argue.  The judges spend the entire time talking about how badly the pro treated Brandy instead of giving notes on the dance because they already know they’re going to give her eights because she’s one of the anointed ones.

I hate everything about this show.

My score: Will someone please insult Michael Bolton again?

Kyle Massey
Kyle and his partner decide to tell the story of the random couple that falls in love in a coffee shop.  Then I fell asleep.

I’m not kidding.

My score: Naps are cool.

The Situation
It’s no surprise that neither The Situation nor the Russian girl can explain their story.  It involves time travel and skimpy outfits.  Again with the porn theme.  I’m pretty sure that The Situation’s partner chose this “story” because she had a futuristic outfit she wanted to wear.  Also, her face looks like she could be The Situation’s brother.

Wow.  The band has really outdone itself tonight.  It was like the Osmonds decided to cover the Black Eyed Peas.  Only worse than you’re thinking.

My score: The future is terrible.

Rick Fox
His story is of an athlete who just blew the game for his team, so he goes to a bar and hooks up with hottie instead of hanging around the gym to practice.  Like any good teammate.

The lady judge got all slobbery over him taking his shirt off.  Does that seem unprofessional to you?

My score: Please show proper respect for the position of dance show judge.


Monday, October 04, 2010

My Mind's Mind

When I have something to do, I have every intention of doing exactly what it is that I set out to do.  Sometimes I don’t get it done.  I’ll get distracted by something — like my mind has a mind of its own.  Do I mind that my mind seems to have a mind of its own?  Of course I mind.  Unfortunately, my mind doesn't seem to mind.  So the only way to get my mind to mind is if I don't pay it any mind.  Mind you, my mind's mind is not easily ignored.  Once it sets its mind to something my mind doesn't mind if it hurts me — or anyone else — to get what is wants.  But you see, I've got my mind made up to give my mind's mind a piece of my mind and I don't mind if my mind's mind loses its mind because I've finally decided to mind the store around here and take my mind back from my mind's mind so that I don't lose my own mind.  In fact, I’m going to do that right now if you don’t mind.


Friday, October 01, 2010

The Friday Roundup

Welcome to the only Mindsilt post you need for the week.  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read the rest of the week so don’t get any big ideas.  You still want to read each day so that you’re up to date with what your co-workers are talking about around the water cooler.  Right?  Right.

This Week in Mindsilt
I wrote about my pledge to remain single.

I reviewed Dancing With the Stars and discovered that Chewbacca is a choreographer.

I wrote about how awesome I am at running a meeting.

Tweet of the Week
From Michael Ian Black:
“You know what would be great? If people stopped shooting each other at school. Save it for after class, guys.”
See it here.

From the Mindsilt Archives
A very short post taken straight from my real life

Video of the Week
This one made its rounds a few months ago but it’s still a good one.  Especially if you own a dog.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

How To Run a Meeting

Is there a word for the moment you realize that you’re good at something because you’re watching someone else completely fuck it up?  I ask for two reasons: 1) I’m too lazy to do an Internet search.  2) This happens to me all the time.  I’m good at a lot of things and other people are terrible at a lot of things.  I could make a list of all the things I’m awesome at but no one has an attention span that long. (Oh my, that’s an awfully long attention span.  Tee hee.)  Instead, I’ll talk about one of those moments I had recently.

In real life (because this blog isn’t real life) I’m a project manager.  I spend a lot of time running meetings.  I know that I’m pretty good at running meetings, but I didn’t realize how good until last week.  I called into a meeting scheduled to be an hour long.  One hundred minutes later, the meeting ended.  Now, I should have bailed out at the 60 minute mark but I was morbidly curious.  I wanted to witness the new and inventive ways the guy running the meeting would come up with to make the meeting longer and let it spin even further out of control.  It was like being at a clinic for how not to run a meeting. 

Since I’m so good at running meetings, I thought I’d share with you my tips for running a good meeting:

1) Remember that people hate meetings.  Ask yourself if the meeting is really necessary.  Could you take care of the issue with an email or phone conversation?  If so, do that.  Don’t waste everyone’s time in a meeting.  The best meeting is the one that's never held.

2) Ask yourself if you really need a full hour.  Chances are everything could be discussed in thirty minutes — especially if you stay on topic.  You almost never need a full hour for a meeting.

3) Create and publish an agenda prior to the meeting.  Everyone should know what is being discussed so that they can come prepared.

4) Stick to the agenda.  Do not stray no matter how interesting the topic might be.  You can always have another discussion about that super interesting (but probably not important) topic later.  I can’t stress how important this is.

5) Do not be afraid to cut people off.  If they are not staying on topic, stop them.  Everyone else will appreciate you not letting someone else waste their time.  Don’t be a dick, but be firm.

6) Finish before the allotted time.  If you follow the first five tips, this will be no problem.  Everyone will love you for giving them some time back and they’ll want to come to your meetings in the future.  This means you have to start on time.

7) Take notes and publish them after the meeting.  Do this however you like.  Create some kind of issues log that people can review.  This way the things you discussed in the meeting will continue to exist outside the meeting and everyone will be held accountable.

8) Don’t schedule meetings at 4pm on Friday.  No one wants to go to a meeting then and no one will be paying attention.  It’s best to wait until Monday.  Also, don’t schedule meetings at 9am on Mondays for the same reason.  People aren’t ready yet.

That’s how you run a freaking meeting.  Awesome, right?  Not really…  I know, I know.

Great.  Now I’m sad because I’m bragging about how good I am at running meetings.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dancing With the Stars Week 2 - A Review

At the top of the show we discover that we will be Hoff-less for the rest of the season.  Part of me is disappointed that the chance of this show folding in upon itself due to cheese overload has been reduced to zero.  The other part of me is watching the Bears-Packers game.

I am excited to see how they try to solve the Brooke Burke problem.  I hope it was a brain transplant.  Failing that, I expect her to be replaced by the robot from the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

Rick Fox
Rick decides that we need to see his nasty, scarred foot so that he has a built in excuse.  Thank God I’d already finished dinner.  I can only assume this is a prelude to him crumpling to the floor in a heap.
He did not crumple to the floor in a heap.  He did dance the Jive like he was doing his Chewbacca impression.  The judges like Chewbacca.

My score: Wwwweeerrrrgggggghhhaaannnnaaahhhhh!

Florence Henderson
She’s been assigned the Quickstep and the strangest partner ever.  She immediately reminds us that she’s 76 years old and complains about trying to remember everything.  Way to play up the stereotype.  Then she flips off the camera.  Way to bust the stereotype.  I *middle-finger* you too, Florence.

My score: Obscenities! 

Brandy has been given the pro that fights with everyone.  And yet, he doesn’t think that he’s an asshole.  Though, Brandy is not a good dancer so I can’t really blame him. 

You know how people half-ass things when they think they are too cool?  Brandy half-asses things but thinks she’s dancing her ass off.  Then she stood around and waved her arms during her “solo.”
This is fixed.  The judges think there are certain people with potential and they give those people high scores regardless of their dance.  For some reason they think Brandy is good. 

My score: I thought this was about talent.

Michael Bolton
He has laryngitis, no rhythm and he’s whiny.  Is there any doubt that he’ll be the next to go?  This is one of moments when I’m acutely aware that this suckatude is filling up prime time television.  This is the worst attempt at entertainment I’ve seen on TV.  When I go to see a community theater show, I expect to see something like this.  When I’m watching prime time television, I expect something that approaches actual entertainment.

Brooke Burke lived up to the terrible performance by asking, “What was the thinking behind the dog character?”  They danced to “Hound Dog.”  That was the thinking.  Is she deaf, too?

One judge gave him a three.  Three.

My score: We’re going to have to live without you.

Audrina Patridge
“I’m sacrificing everything for this show.”  What exactly is she sacrificing?  Does she have a job?  Does she have children?  Or does she mean that she’s literally performing ritual sacrifices of anything she can find? 

The judges loved her dance.  I know I should think that this girl is sexy, but I don’t.  Seeing her naked would be like seeing an undressed mannequin.

Her partner pledged that he would wax his legs if the dance didn’t get all eights.  They got two eights and a seven.  This will only be interesting if they make him wear hot pants next week.

My score: Welcome to Old Navy!

Jennifer Grey
While rehearsing they reveal that Jennifer had cancer around her spine on her neck.  She plays it off like it’s no big deal because she was saving all of her drama for showing us how exhausting the Quickstep is.

This isn’t even fair.  She already knows how to dance.  She’s so far ahead of everyone else it’s not even funny.  Her choreography was so much harder than everyone else and she nailed it.  Our only hope is that all of her dramatics will turn everyone off and people won’t vote for her.

After Jennifer Grey and her partner got their scores, the crowd began booing.  Then we cut to the main, competent host interviewing Sarah Palin.  Draw your own conclusions.

My score: I carried a watermelon.

Margaret Cho
Last week everyone avoided Margaret Cho like the plague after the show.  She claims it was because everyone thought she was going home.  It was really because they didn’t want to have to look at her in that dress.  Or they just don’t like her.

I hate that I know this, but Margaret’s partner is the best instructor in the group.  He gets challenging partners and he gets the most out of them.  I take back what I said about her being able to dance.  She can’t dance.  I was fooled by those weird, flappy wing things she had last week — and I don’t mean her arms.

My score: Quit your day job, but not because you’re a good dancer.  You’re not.

Kyle Massey
Kyle Massey loves himself some Kyle Massey.  I think he’s the only one.  Oh wait, did he just make a joke about being fat?  How original and charming.  I’m sure the whole world has changed their mind on Kyle Massey now. 

Every time I think the band can’t get any worse, they surprise me.  I’m not sure the singer was ever in tune — even by accident.  In fact, I’m not even sure that was an actual song. 

My score: Two sides of fries.

Kurt Warner
I stand corrected.  The band just got worse again.  I believe they were attempting to play “Danger Zone.”  I’m guessing based on the fact that I think I heard the singer say (not sing, say) “danger zone.”  The band is setting new records for awful. 

The problem with Kurt Warner is that once you establish yourself as boring, you are always boring.  Even at your most exciting you are completely boring.  He does realize that he doesn’t have to give canned answers to everyone he talks to like he’s giving a post-game interview, right?

I’m confused.  The judges loved his dance even though he couldn’t find the beat to save his life.

My score: Post-concussion syndrome?

The SituationI have never seen The Jersey Shore and if this guy is the star, I can’t imagine that it’s any good.  He seems like a good kid.  A little cheesy, but a good kid.  He tries hard but he’s a terrible dancer.  Absolutely awful.  He dances like he’s on an ice rink with dress shoes.  He’s sliding and crashing into everything.

I think Dancing With the Stars is going to ask for their money back.  Where’s the outrageous guy they thought they were getting?

My score: 5.7

Bristol Palin
She takes her partner to Alaska to meet her mom.  He was about as excited to meet her as you would imagine.  Are the producers going to try to squeeze Sarah Palin into every one of Bristol’s lead-ins?  That might be the only way to keep her segments interesting. 

Unfortunately, Bristol isn’t a bad dancer so we’ll probably be subjected to Sarah and pregnant teens for several more weeks.  By the way, does Bristol take credit for any teenager she sees that isn’t pregnant?

My score: Birth control!


Monday, September 27, 2010

My Pledge To Remain Single

About five years ago I made a decision.  Well, I made a lot of decisions but one big one.  After a series of strange relationships and failed dates I decided that I would remain single for the rest of my life.  I didn’t plan to shun all women or stop dating completely.  I just realized that the chances of me finding a person to happily spend the rest of my life with were not very good.  So I stopped looking for that person.  I just went about my life and if the chance to date a woman presented itself, I would do so but I would have no expectations that it would evolve into anything lasting.

You know what?  It’s worked out pretty well for me.

I’ve stuck to my pledge, mostly.  I did make one exception, but that’s only because the girl was cool and funny and beautiful.  I’m referring to my wife, Dee.  She’s pretty awesome so you can see why I would make such an exception, but that’s the only exception I’ve made.  Otherwise, I’ve stayed completely single and I’m completely fine with it.  In fact, I’m pretty darn happy.

Who says you need someone else to be happy?


Friday, September 24, 2010

The Friday Roundup

Look at us strolling down the Internet hand in hand on a Friday.  Oh!  What’s that?  Is that the…  Well, yes it is.  The Friday Roundup.  Let’s check it out, shall we?

Check This Out
Remember when I wrote about Space Robbers?  I bet you do because you have a great memory.  Anyway, the star of Space Robbers has always been Sean.  He and his fiancée have their own blog called Frakking Shiny where they write about the things they love.  Sometimes (like on Wednesday) they write about how they hate the people who are ruining the things they love.

This Week in Mindsilt
I gave you some random updates on Football, Facebook and Sex.

I reviewed the premiere of Dancing With the Stars.

I trumpeted the heroes that are the people that put out the free candy bowls.

Tweet of the Week
From Alec Sulkin:
“Therapist just left a .38 on the coffee table and walked out.  I think I get it.”
See it here.

From the Mindsilt Archives
After my thirtieth birthday I wondered why I wasn’t rich yet.

Video of the Week

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON from Dean Fleischer-Camp on Vimeo.